The Internet Archive (IA) “is a non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies & music, as well as 624 billion archived web pages.” The IA offers users unrestricted access to its expansive ecosystem of knowledge and educational resources from the public domain. Andy Oram, prolific author, editor, publisher, and technical expert on all aspects of computing, undertook an extensive examination of a game changing case, Hachette v. Internet Archive, that may dismantle this unique, invaluable digital library. In this article Oram examines what the publishers are trying to protect and why they have to wield a large and heavy cudgel to protect it. His inquiry leads to a look at how culture has been privatized as it has become digitized—an effect quite opposed to the hopes of most public advocates who maintain the view that the Internet and the World Wide Web should remain focused on public access, not private sector monetization.
David H. Rothman advocates on behalf of the Panorama Project which he says is not just an effort of librarians even though it’s benefiting from the input of Alan S. Inouye, the ALA’s director of public policy. Among the others involved have been people from the Book Industry Study Group, independent booksellers, Penguin Random House, and OverDrive, the largest supplier of books for libraries and schools. One of the recurring themes in the project’s research is that synergies can exist not only between books and other media, but also between the library and retails models. For example, among several thousand readers surveyed, “38.31% of respondents had bought a book online that they first found in a library (within the last 12 months.” Local bookstores also benefited, and the project intends to explore this further. The findings are just preliminary, but based on earlier work by researchers for OCLC and OverDrive, Rothman doubts there will be surprises in regard to synergies between libraries and retail.
David Rothman, TeleRead Founder and Editor-Publisher has written as about his friend and colleague, Chris Meadows, who passed away from injuries sustained in a hit and run accident on October 8, while riding his electric bike. Rothman writes that “several people died later in the hospital – The blogger. The gamer. The documentation writer. And the ultimate tech support guy. Chris won a National Merit Scholarship in high school and read two books a day when in the mood, and he typed more than 120 words per minute. On deadline for the TeleRead blog on ebooks and related topics, he might race along at that speed or close to it. As “Robotech_Master,” Chris was internationally known to thousands in the games world. He wrote The Geek’s Guide to Indianapolis: A Tour Guide for Con Gamers and Other Visitors and hosted strangers who found themselves without another place to stay in Indy. But ten words from his life stand out most of all: “This is Chris. How can I make your day better?”…”
Chris Meadows was Editor and Senior Staff Writer at TeleRead, a site focusing on e-book and library news. It is with sadness that I share one of his last articles – he passed away last week after a hit and run accident. Chris was an expert on all facets of digital content issues, and the son of two librarians. I have included more information in my editor’s note at the end of the article. He will be missed. My deepest condolences to his family.
Will Barnes & Noble remain a viable business with the huge challenge of the current pandemic? Chris Meadows talks about the factors that will impact this business and the employees, readers, and the future of physical books.
The KKR investment firm is buying OverDrive, the biggest library ebook company, providing ebooks and audiobooks to 43,000+ libraries and schools in 75 countries – from Rakuten, also owner of the Kobo ereader, audiobook and ebook business. As the number of e-book publishers and ereaders continues to shrink, David H. Rothman asks, “do we really want to trust digital libraries to KKR on issues ranging from access to reliable digital preservation.”
Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: WikiLeaks set 21st century model for cyber-leak journalism; Your car is watching you. Who owns the data?; Facebook, lose my digits: Here’s how to unlist your phone number; and What e-books at the library mean for your privacy.
David Rothman is an indefatigable advocate for a national library endowment. He states: “Just ten Americans are together worth more than half a trillion dollars, and the assets of the top 400 U.S. billionaires added up to a cool $2.7 trillion in October 2017. Charity-minded members of the super rich love to give to elite institutions such as Harvard. Its endowment is well north of $35 billion. The Gates Giving Pledge could free up countless billions in future years for prestigious institutions like Harvard. But will America’s libraries miss out while Harvard, Yale, and Princeton grow still richer? Very possibly, if the American Library Association and other good people in the library establishment fail to act in time.”
Chris Meadows explains the rapid descent of the only remaining national bookstore chain and the impending impact on the bookselling landscape, including on the stores’ employees and customers.
In the third installment of her series, Ellyssa Kroski discusses the hybrid model at NYLI and how her team is utilizing aggregators and individual publisher platforms as well as subscription models and patron-driven acquisitions to create the largest and most comprehensive eBook collection of any membership law library in the US. Be sure to check out Parts One and Two of this informative series.